Making Sense of Data in the Media

Data in the mediaIncreasingly, we’re bombarded with all sorts of data about how society is changing: opinion poll trends; migration data; economic results; government debt levels; and MPs’ expenses claims.
More often than not, the data are presented to bolster a (sometimes contentious) claim, so the ability to read such information with confidence is an increasingly important skill for both modern citizens and those studying the social sciences.

This free online course willl look at ways of cutting through the confusion to decide what numbers reveal, and when and why they (sometimes deliberately) mislead. And ask:
• How do we make sense of all these numbers?
• How can we decide which ones to trust and which to doubt?
• And how do we know which might reveal important trends and which are less dramatic than they sound?

The course has been written by the SMI's quantitative methods experts Todd Hartman, Mark Taylor and Aneta Piekut who teach the BA in Quantitative Social Sciences.

For more information and to sign up for the course which starts on 8th February visit FutureLearn